In Pursuit of Finding the Right Scope
When I first began searching for the best rifle scope, I became overwhelmed at what a tedious task it was. I was looking for a quality scope that fit my particular needs; it had to be just the right scope that would allow me to engage game at long distances with great precision. With so many factors running through my mind as I searched, I began thinking about the time of year, weather conditions and terrain. After these considerations have been reached, I had to narrow it down to a few scopes that I felt were just the right fit for me. After reading many rifle scope reviews and talking to hunters, I eventually focused my search.
Outside conditions and terrain play an important role into which scope the hunter will need. If the weather is foggy, a scope that offers excellent fog relief would be high on his list. If the weather in the area is always windy and wet, then finding a scope with good windage would be a top priority. If hunting in the Ozarks on a bright sunny day, good light transmission rate would be a must. Thus, there is much to consider when finding the right scope for your particular needs.
Rifle Scope Comparison Table
|Rifle Scope||Zoom Factor||Objective Diameter (mm)||Eye Relief (inches)||Length (inches)||Price||Rating|
|UTG CQB Bug Buster||3-9x||32||4.2-3.2||5||$110||4.4 of 5|
|Nikon ProStaff||3-9x||40||3.6||12.3||$164||4.7 of 5|
|Revolution Accu-Range||2.5-6.5x||33||3.7-4.9||11||$196||4.9 of 5|
|Vortex Diamondback||4-12x||40||3.4-3.1||11.9||$199||4.7 of 5|
|Leupold FX-II Scout||2.3x||34.5||9.3||10.1||$299||4.9 of 5|
| Banner Dusk & Dawn||6-18x||50||3.5||6.5||$129||4.6 of 5|
|Trijicon Accupoint||5-20x||50||3.8-4.1||13.6||$1,147||5 of 5|
|Weaver Rimfire||3-9x||32||3.7-3.3||11.25||$237||4.9 of 5|
|Simmons .44 Mag||6-24x||44||3.75||11.14||$152||3.5 of 5|
|Nikon Buckmaster||4.5-14x||40||3.6-3.7||14.4||$319||4.8 of 5|
|Nikon Monarch||4-16x||42||4-3.7||13.5||$389||4.4 of 5|
|Mueller APV||4.5-14x||40||3.5-3.25||13.75||$129||4.8 of 5|
|Burris MTAC||1-4x||30||3.1-3.8||10.25||$329||4.7 of 5|
|Nikon P-22||2-7x||32||3.8||11.5||$170||4.7 of 5|
Comparison Table Features Guide
In the table above we’ve included information that could to help you pick out the right scope. Here are the parameters:
- Rifle Scope – Click to see reviews, details or to purchase
- Magnification – How much closer the target appears to you
- Objective Diameter – Diameter of the objective lens. The bigger the lens is, the more light will be able to enter the lens, and the image you see will appear brighter
- Length – The actual length of the scope
- Price – Price of each unit on Amazon.com (may vary from the listed price according to demand and availability)
- Rating – User rating on Amazon on a 1 to 5 scale
The scopes included in the comparison table are only a portion of available options on the market. We’ve only listed some of the models that we deemed suitable to display here. There are many other great scopes by different manufacturers at a great price on Amazon.
The Scope Itself and Why Every Hunter Needs One
A rifle scope is more or less a basic telescopic lens that lets you zero in more accurately on a target. Before the days of scopes, the average hunter used open sights; he had to rely completely on his rifle and his rifle had to be zeroed in to his eyesight. The downside of this was that open sights limited his range and accuracy.
Every hunter knows that even a 1 inch difference in the shot could mean the prey running away. The last thing any exhausted hunter wants is to be tracking a wounded animal for miles in order to take it down completely. A good hunter has compassion and that translates into a quick painless kill. A miss by an inch can lead to painful, excruciating death to an animal and no hunter wants that; accuracy and precision with every shot is number one to any serious hunter.
The Military is Picking up on Scopes.
I served in the U.S. Army from the early 1990s to the mid-2000s. Back then, the basic foot soldier used open sites on his M-16A2 and even the gunners issued the M60 or 50 caliber all had to go by open sites. The best distance any of us could hit a target would be at 300 yards. In my company of 160 soldiers only 2 of them were expert marksmen or crack shots. Most of us just could not hit the targets at 200 or more meters with our open sites. Oh how things have changed since then.
Since this time, the US Military has come to discover that giving soldiers rifle scopes could mean the difference between life or death on the battlefield. In just over 10 years the US military has expanded completely the use of rifle scopes to its soldiers on the ground. Nowadays a scope is becoming more and more a part of a soldier’s equipment and firing on open sites is becoming a thing of the past. The days of having a rifle without a scope is going the way of the horse and buggy.
So Why the Need of a Scope?
Any hunter could hunt with basic open sights, more or less a rear sight and a front sight. He zeroes in his rifle and can get a fairly good shot but generally only at close distances. With a good rifle scope, the hunter could get a cleaner, more accurate shot with the lining up of the crosshairs of the target. This makes the aiming process much simpler. Given the fact that scopes magnify the target making the prey appear near, this translates that the shot will become more accurate.
I’ll simplify this a little more. The best rifle scopes have a series of lenses that refract the light, thus making the image larger. This in turn overlays the image the hunter sees and provides him with an excellent aiming point. In other words, the hunter with a scope has a huge advantage over the hunter using open sights.
Finding the Scope That Fits You
Every scope is unique and, depending on the needs of the hunter, it can become overwhelming trying to find the right scope. From metrics, weight, optics, zoom, eye relief and reticle it can become a daunting task just picking a top scope.
With all things considered, the more experienced hunter looks for an all in one package. A quality scope that offers the best all-around features – this can generally come with a higher price tag. I have talked with many hunters and the price difference of 50-200 dollars on a scope could mean the difference of freezing in Northern Michigan on a cold November day or paying a little extra and getting the job done right.
3 Top Rifle Scopes That Make Hunting Pleasurable
As mentioned above, finding a top-rated rifle scope can be overwhelming. There are literally thousands of scopes on the market; I’d like to narrow this down to my top 3 scopes.
I’ve already done the homework for you, so let’s get started.
This is the lower end of good rifle scopes but, for the money, it serves the hunter on a budget well. It’s a one piece construction that is waterproof and fog-proof. The optics are bright and the light transmission is about 91%. The Bone Collector model offers magnification from 3 to 9 times. What I liked best about this model is how easy it was to set up and zero in. Overall for the money it’s a great scope.
Bushnell is one of the most popular scope manufacturer, and by many arguably the best. You can check out more information on some of their best scopes here.
The benefit of this scope is the excellent eye relief it gives the hunter. When I’ve talked with hunters who had this scope nearly every one of them made a point about how clear the glass on the lenses were. This makes the image quality and light reflection superb. This good rifle scope is clear and crisp, with great workmanship and just exactly what you expect from Leupold. It is a highly recommended scope. Check out our more detalied review of the VX-1 here.
This is really an all-around great scope. It offers a one piece construction with reinforced quad-seal gas seals and Hi-Lume. Being waterproof, as well as fog and shock resistant, makes this one of the best scopes for the money. The adjustment system on the Burris has been moved to improve the mounting and the adjustable eyepiece makes this model much simpler to use. Weighing in at 13 ounces it’s one of the lightest scopes to be had.
What I liked best about this scope is Burris’s reputation for ruggedness has proved true over and over again, this scope is just plain rugged and durable. What I love about Burris is that they listen to hunters and modify their scopes to the hunter’s needs. This scope can take field and terrain conditions and holds zero without issue. If you have multiple rifles to scope, this is a solid choice.
On a quick side-note – if you’re planning to do hunting mostly during late evenings or early mornings, I’d recommend you look into the 50mm model with the illuminated reticle.
It All Comes Down to You
Now that you’ve read a few of my top picks for the best rifle scopes, its up to you to pick the right model that fits your need. With new scopes arriving to the market daily, and the thousands of scopes already on the market, narrowing the field down can save you a big headache. Good luck in gearing up and heading out on your next hunt!